Chapter 35: Pizza Delivery at the Border of Crazy, Part I

As I being to regain consciousness, I become aware of tears streaming down my cheeks. My eyes are closed, and I am trying to stay asleep lest the beautiful dream I am having will end.

My eyes roll back and forth, and my eyelids flutter as I struggle to fully wake up. As I begin to regain focus, sitting in front of me is the man that just escorted me out of my dream.

His kind, hazel green eyes staring back at me with the gentlest expression, all full of love and concern. He watches intently as I come back down to earth.

“Hi, baby.” He whispers to me as I feel his big rough hands (or as I like to call them, his mitts) hold my left hand as I lie on the hospital bed.

“Hi baby, I just had the most amazing dream,” I croak in response.

As I try to grasp my thoughts and get a grip on where the hell I am, through tears, I describe what just transpired to my new love, (for the sake of anonymity as he is working on his divorce settlement, I will call him Mr. Pizza).

“Babe, it was so weird! I was sitting in a living room with my Nauna and Poppa and Uncle Jimmy (aka Uncle Weazle).  We were all dressed in Christmas sweaters as we told stories, sang Christmas songs, and laughed till tears were running down our faces. I remember Jimmy’s huge smile and Naun and Pop looking at him with such love. And then you came to get me and said, ‘Baby, we have to go back now,’ and I told you I didn’t want to leave. And then you said, ‘we have to go love’ and so I turned to them and hugged them very tightly. They told me to be good and send everyone their love. I didn’t want to leave.”

The tears started fresh as I remembered the “dream” as if I was still living in it. Mr. Pizza looked at me with so much love, “that’s such a beautiful dream, baby.”

I responded, “I know!  It was so real! What was weird is that they didn’t really acknowledge you …they just let me leave with you as they waved good-bye.”

SIDEBAR: As I sit here and write this, my heart aches to be with them again. I am absolutely convinced I was with my angels.

He says, “Well, I believe you were with them and that I was there to bring you back because it’s not your time to be with them yet. We have a lot more life to live together.”

I looked at him with such admiration… “You always know the right things to say.”

And so, begins the story of my newest love and boyfriend Mr. Pizza(or more like a partner; at this age, I feel that BOYfriend wouldn’t really capture our connection or his age – he is 55, 10 years older than me).

I’ve waited six long years for this man (actually, more like 46). And after two years of writing for The Daily Feels as a single-divorced career-mom, I am over the moon excited to share more about this beautiful soul that has entered my life and completely usurped my heart.

Our love story begins the summer of 2019, on the day a monsoon hit NJ during my friend’s annual Pirate Party.

YES! We met at a Pirate Party (Morticia and Gomez Addams would be proud). I mean, I really can’t make this shit up! It’s a costume party that my family friends throw each year with lots of people from the movie and TV business.

I was aptly dressed in a sexy’ish off-the-shoulder pirate shirt and vest with matching headband, ripped jean shorts and wedge sandals. He was dressed in a pirate t-shirt, pirate hat with accompanying red and white striped scarf.

As I exited the back door into the yard, I carefully navigated the stairs (the steps were a little treacherous and the wedges were 5” high).  As I headed to the bar for a Pickle Back shot, my eyes were down on the floor to ensure I didn’t wobble on any of the broken concrete.

I felt someone staring at me…looking hard.  Once I landed on flat, solid ground, I looked up into the eyes of Mr. Pizza. I had never met this man, so I stared back at him and said, “Hi.”

As he would tell you, all he could muster was “Hi” in return. For the rest of the night, I would find Mr. Pizza wherever I went. The front yard, backyard, in the house, behind me during conversations with other people. He would just be there, present.

He may also tell you, for him, it was love at first sight…or what I like to call lust shadowing as love. However, for me, it was not love at first sight, it was love at first hug (more on this subject in Part II of our Pirate romance).

Since that first meeting, I have spent a lot of time with Mr. Pizza. What began that night as friends, evolved into us falling in love. I don’t know what it means to “fall” in love, it feels more like a love that grew over time between two people who no one, and I mean NO ONE, ever thought to put together.

Our love is absolute and secure while simultaneously being exciting and adventurous. A relationship unlike any other before him. This is not just because of him, it’s because of me. The woman I am today would not have been ready for this man or this relationship. That’s because I didn’t think I deserved a man that…

…gives me the first taste of his food and saves the last bite for me if I want it

…treats my daughter with respect and appreciation, as if she was his own

…held me tightly when I released all of my pain, fear, and frustration after dealing with my daughter’s father (his shirt was absolutely soaked with tears and snot. He never complained and didn’t get grossed out)

A man who…

…expresses his heart and love for me in Italian and calls me Bella (sexiest thing ever)

…puts family-first. Always.

…would do anything for a friend

…rubbed my back when I puked one night from too many Moscow Mules

…tells me the truth even when it hurts

…surprised me with a diamond heart necklace “just because” he loves me

…makes sure I take my medicine on time

…took me for my colonoscopy and hung out with me all day during my “prep” (or more like toxic exorcism)

…dragged me out of my dream state to ensure I came back to him

…will take me to St. John for Valentine’s day

…says what he means and means what he says

…laughs his ass off when I wake up from a deep sleep and say, “I’m sorry” right before I fart

…Rubs my feet after a long day, BEFORE I’ve showered

…made sure my 46th birthday was the best-ever by taking me dancing with my friends and family. And proceeded to dance the night away with me!

…takes ballroom dance classes because he knows how much I love it

…makes the bed in the morning without being asked

…Writes me the most beautiful letters and brings me flowers on a rainy day

…listens while I’m on a conference call for work because he loves to hear me present

…helps me put on my coat and opens the car door

…can be at a party with me, give me space and yet be completely present

This wonderful man that…

…makes his own Sunday sauce, pickled eggplant, and pepperoni

…cooks me chicken soup when I’m not feeling well

…wraps me in his arms when I am cold

…dances with me in the kitchen while we cook

…tells me I’m beautiful even when I haven’t showered all day while running around in sweats with no make-up on

…reminds me of two very amazing men in my life, my Pop and Uncle Weazle

…checks MSP’s math homework because I am terrible at math

…drives me to the train on a cold morning even though I’m 15 minutes out of his way

…was my friend first and has quickly become my confidant and best friend

…is the kind of man I never imagined would be the one, but whom I can’t imagine my life without.

After six years single, trying nearly EVERY single dating site with over 50 dates under my belt, I simply bumped into this fantastic human at a Pirate party. It’s simply astounding to me that the less effort I put toward dating and love is when it came full force into my life.

My message to Mr. Pizza, who will undoubtedly read this blog (as he is required to do)

Now it’s not all rainbows and roses. We’ve had our fair share of disagreements, tears shed, and make-up sex (which I highly recommend!). Truth be told, the good times FAR outweigh any bad times, and somehow it’s the challenges we’ve faced that make it feel more real.

And while I could be elated to have finally found my match, it’s been difficult changing my status from single-divorced career mom to being “in a relationship.”  I’m learning how to be in a relationship again, even more so being in a healthy one for the first time. Being in love is one thing, being a partner requires many other communication skills, LOTS of patience, and being considerate of your partner (ironically, I sometimes find this challenging as I haven’t had to “consider” someone else’s time or feelings in a very long time). 

Of course, doubt creeps in as well.  Perpetual questions flood my brain: Who is the Freak of Nurture in a loving relationship? Will I sabotage my first chance at a real, stable relationship? Can I ever trust love (or men for that matter)? Is he suddenly going to realize I’m not the one? Is this just the honeymoon period? Will I wake from this dream?

Undoubtedly, you’re saying to yourself, “FREAK! Stop overthinking and enjoy this incredible blossoming relationship.”  What I would tell you is that I’m trying, really trying.  Fuck, truth is I’m still a work in progress and there are many layers of pain, hurt and distrust that he didn’t cause but that he inherits as my partner. 

Mr. Pizza has done something extraordinary for me…he’s made me whole. Wholly and truly loved. And for that, I want him to know how grateful and joyous that makes me.  It is my wish that every woman would know a man like him.  You should be so lucky.

Stay tuned for Part II of our love story, coming soon to The Daily Feels.



Cherry Maggiore

Cherry Maggiore is the proud single mom of her 10-year-old super-sassy daughter (aka Miss Sassy Pants or MSP); in addition to being an award-winning senior marketing executive at NBCUniversal.
Beside her side hustle as the Freak of Nurture, she also started a home design company after being inspired by renovating and designing her 1880’s home in NJ.
This insanely curious and passionate “multi-potentialite” can be found dancing the Argentinan tango, swing and Hustle every Saturday, cooking her family an Italian Sunday dinner, singing and air drumming at concerts or searching for her next adventure

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